1 November 2020 - All Saints
Reflection for All Saints Day, 1st November 2020
Epistle Reading 1 John 3.1-3
Many years ago there was a book entitled ‘The Gospel of the Hereafter’. It was written by a man whose child had died. He found much comfort from the verses of our epistle. 1 John is written in the language of meditation and prayer. Such a text needs to be read with prayer with the bible open beside us. The spiritual significance of 1 John is that it applies to the hereafter and we will all experience this in God’s own time.
‘See what sort of love the Father has given us that we may be called children of God, and we are. As God’s children we are given a share in God’s nature. ‘He has given us’ – the perfect tense is linear and indicates continuity – as children of God we are continuously infused with God’s nature. As we complete our journey in this world we are called to sanctification – ‘Now we are God’s children and up to this point it has not been manifested what we shall be. And everyone who has this hope in Him sanctifies himself as He is pure’.
We can have confidence in the revelation we have so far received in Christ, his death and resurrection, and we can expect further revelation at the parousia. The revelations are gradual but we have seen enough to go on with confidence.
John addresses his readers as ‘Beloved’. The address ‘beloved’ reminds us of our shared nature and our infusion with God’s own nature. As Christians we have confidence in the promised hereafter and that we will be granted the vision of God. The Saints whom we commemorate today have longed for the vision of God and they remind us of our need for spiritual growth. We need the Saints to remind us that we are called to prayer and to grow in holiness. Only those who share God’s nature are able to see the vision of God. We can sum up our meditation by focusing on the vision of God, sanctification, sharing God’s nature and developing confidence for the hereafter.
Reverend Dr Calum Gilmour